New Law Designed to Protect Antitrust Whistleblowers

Signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 23, 2020, the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act bars employers from retaliating against individuals who report criminal antitrust violations. Sponsored by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the law will encourage disclosures and bolster the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement, said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim.

The DOJ said the new law supplements other activities: the 2019 formation of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force, a coordinated national response to combat antitrust and related schemes in government procurement, grant, and government program funding; the division’s July 2019 policy designed to incentivize corporate compliance with the antitrust laws; and the October 2020 authorization of the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Permanent Extension Act.

“From Fiscal Year 2010 to 2019, the Antitrust Division’s criminal prosecutions have resulted in over $9 billion in criminal fines and penalties, along with jail terms for more than 250 individuals. Since the fall of 2019 alone, courts have imposed four criminal fines and penalties at or above the Sherman Act’s $100 million statutory maximum, and the division has prosecuted antitrust violations affecting generic drugs, cancer patients, grocery store staples, and financial markets,” according to the announcement from the Antitrust Division.

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